Rest in Power, Elandria Williams

Photo Credit to the New Economy Coalition.

Rest in Power, Elandria Williams

The cooperative community has lost a tremendous spirit this week with the passing of Elandria Williams, a visionary agitator and unparalleled educator. Elandria was an immense force within the new economy space – a huge, joyous spirit and a powerful organizer who served in so many capacities — from the Highlander Center, to the PeoplesHub, to the founding board of The Democracy at Work Institute. 

We are forever grateful for Elandria’s contributions to the worker co-op movement; some of the best parts of DAWI’s organizational DNA would not have taken shape without them. Their poetic power and no-nonsense commitment to building people power have been woven deep into the fabric of both the USFWC and DAWI, and their influence will continue to be felt for decades to come. 

#ElandriaTaughtUs to resist, to be resilient and to be restored while also re-imagining a world beyond the oppressive systems we live in. They also recognized that the work of justice is hard and can be detrimental to our health unless we cultivate cultures of care and restoration. 

We will all remember what Elandria did to varying degrees, but most of all, we will never forget how they made people feel. Elandria made us feel like we should and could be our biggest, best selves, a part of a beautiful human family committed to justice and joy in equal parts.  

As we grieve together as a community, we remember Elandria’s powerful words: 

What is lifting up my spirit is holding that I am unbound. What is lifting up my spirit is that I will break the chains. What is lifting up my spirit is that I am deserving of a 100% radical love, care and worthiness. And I will accept nothing less.


We Are Worthy

By Elandria Williams

We are worthy

Not because of what we produce

But because of who we are

We are divine bodies of light and darkness

You are not worthy because of what you offer, 

not because of what is in your mind, not for the support you give others, 

not for what you give at all

We are worthy and are whole just because

In this great turning, in this great pandemic, 

in this radical readjustment and alignment

We are not disposable, we are needed, we are the 

very people that have withstood everything that has been thrown at us as a people 

and as Maya Angelou would say

Still I Rise

We arise from the pain

We rise from the grief

We arise from the limits people place on us and 

the limits we place on ourselves

We rise to be the children and the ancestors

We rise to be our true selves

Our true selves in relationship to our families 

and communities

Recognizing our liberating and whole selves

Honoring them and others as we strive for 

abundant communities, abundant lives, abundant

relationships, and 


values and cultural manifestations

We are worthiness personified

I, you, and we are worthy and deserve a life 

where we are not always fighting for our existence

Imagine what we could create if we were not always in the struggle

Imagine what we could envision if we could just be let to just go there

So tired of always having to resist, to fight, demanding, pushing

To everyone that has the courage, the power, the 

ability to co-create what we want and need

while rooting in what we can’t lose and who we are

You are the visionary

You are the hope

You are our ancestors dreams

No you might not ever end up on some list somewhere

But you are on a list in someone’s heart and mind

And if it’s in how you move in the world so people can see by example

You are the embodiment of what we need

Thanks to all that are the embodiment

The embodiment not of productivity but 

the embodiment of radical love, care and sanctuary

It’s time

Embodiment time


Living ones values out loud

Let me everyday live my values out loud

Let us everyday live our values out loud

Embodying our values

Not the productivity quotient

Beyond productivity

Past productivity

True embodiment


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